Friday, December 29, 2006



2006 was fairly average as far as I was concerned. A few good gigs were done and a few bad ones. Same with football games and pubs. Pub count currently 531 so that's not too bad.
What is interesting the amount of 'new' albums I bought this year were at a minimum (probably around 20) whereas I have bought a few reissues of classic albums something I've not really previously done.
As it is the end of year I may as well put here my top five albums that I have bought

1) The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes. Yes they are disposable but summery pop hasn't been done this good for years. Sixties and Britpop influenced this is full of catchy tunes even if 'Pull Shapes' does sound like OMD's Enola Gay.

Its also an excuse to post another photo of Rosay this from their Xmas party which unfortuanately clashed with Iron Maiden. All very happy music

2) Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold. This is the complete opposite from the above. Deadly serious, thought provoking at times with shades of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. There are a few times you need to listen to someone who is much of a fruitcake as you! Highlights are 'Trophy' and 'The Wizard'

3) The Killers - Sams Town. Not as instant as their debut this is a serious grower. The single 'When you were young' lead to one of 2006's most used phrases - He doesn't look like Jesus. And the pure sexiness of 'Bones' and the two interludes make this a great album.

4) The Who - Endless Wire. Townshend and Daltrey return with typically a piece of 'rock art'! As individual pieces the best songs are only a minute or two long sandwiched in the mini opera 'Wore & Glass' whereas the acoustic 'Tea & Theatre' and 'Man In A Purple Dress' are, although perhaps a bit overweight at times, bold pieces that stay with you.

5) Thunder - Robert Johnson's Tombstone. Only purchased this recently and Thunder have continued where their seventh album left off. A fantastic rock blues album showing that bands of this age are not all about the past.

Bubbling under we had Thea Gilmore - Harpo's Ghost, The Answers - Rise and Ginger - Valor Del Corazzo.

Best reissue I have bought this year were the Mott The Hoople albums. All restored with bonus tracks these are the three albums when they made it big. All very good.

Away from music, I should mention the best pubs / bars done this year. In no particular order we have;
Beer Circus (Croydon) - Weird lagers, lots of ale but a surprisingly pleasant clientiele. All very Ikea-esque furniture makes it although a bit bland, a pleasant place to enjoy something unusual.
Prince Of Wales (Brighton) - Always a goody, this small pub on Churhcill Square has a unique charm to it. The fact ot does Oranjeboom is a plus.
Star (Ewell) - A very good pub that you should go more often, despite being fairly local. A few different rooms and Hofbrau to drink at £2.50.
Chandos (near Traflagar Square) - Hadn't been here for a few years till 2006. Same as you remember with a very nice upstairs 'Opera' Bar. Cheap too!
Priory Arms (Stockwell) - A new find for me. Watched the European Cup final here before Hard-Fi. Lots of real ale and semi standered lagers (Budvar) However much better than expected being in a Stockwell Estate.

As this is my last post of the year, Happy New Year to every one!


Iron Maiden, Earls Court 23.12.06

One of the essential metal bands at Earls Court at Christmas! considering I've not seen them before then thought this opportunity could not be turned down. Alas thetickets were bought way in advance and until recently I did not know that they were doing the whole of their new album (A Matter Of Life & Death) in its entirity. I was prepared to be disappointed. However, the new songs actually sounded really good. Probably not enough for me to purchase the album at full price but shall certainly look for it in the January bargains! As a show it was very very good. Bruce Dickinson's vocals were spot on and you had the metal cliches with Eddie appearing in a tank during the last song before the encore. Out of the classic half hour at the end, 'Fear Of The Dark' was awesome and we also got 'Iron Maiden' and 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'. Alas no Run To The Hills but you can't have everything. The band clearly don't want to linger on their past too much. Still will go again if they play indoors. Their next rumoured gig is Donnington which never ever appeals!

Friday, December 22, 2006


It's Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!

So my last post before Christmas and the festivities have started early. Am on 527 pubs for the year so far without really trying. Watched my favourite movie 'Serendipity' on BBC1 last night and on many times I blubbed like a girl! fantastic film. Am off to my folks for Christmas so means for a rare occaision I wont be in the Harrow at Christmas Eve alas. I know several people including a dyed blonde hair girl will be devastated by this! Seeing Iron Maiden tomorrow which should be all right. Apparently they do all their new album in synch so have low expetations. As long as they do 'Fear Of The Dark' and 'Run To The Hills' I'll be happy though. Boxing Day we have Palace at home. A win tomorrow and then we should be a favourite for automatic promotion. Garteh Bale is a free kick genius and hopefully this run of form will persuade him to stay at least for another season.
One thing I have noticed is that many towns in this season have a German market where beer can be purchased. Keeps the cold from getting to you although you do stumble into sober Christmas shoppers!
Finally no Victoria Silvsedt nor Leilani calenders this year means Matt & I will be fielding weakenend teams at our annual calender competition. I'm getting Matt Jeniffer ellison whereas I have requested Jakki Degg! Last year was a 6-6 draw the only time I have gone close.


Thunder Christmas Party - Rock City 21.12

Travellled up to Nottingham for the traditional Thunder Christmas show. After doing a few pubs including Punk Rock bar called Foremans where we were treated to the Alarms Unsafe Building on the speakers we went to Rock City. It is one of the worst venues to see a gig with about 30% of the audience not being able to see! Still we were treated to two good sets from the South London band with covers of Band On The Run, Starman and I wish It Could be Christmas Everyday. Also Luke Morleys stunning girlfriend was on backing vocals and duetted on River Deep Mountain High. We eneded the evening in Nottinghams cookie club with cheap beer and decent music playing. Next day hungover was cured by a lunchtime beer in Hooters where the lovely Dani and Sarah served us!


Kasabian at Earls Court 19.12

Didn't really think Kasabian could pull off a gig at Earls Court. Huge venue was up at the side stage right. Fratellis were supporting and did a great set. Kasabian did the best of their two albums and were reminiscent of stone roses and Mondays in their indie dance beats. Reason For Treason was fantastic and the encore included Club Foot. They won me over quite convincingly as the current band everyone has to see!

Friday, December 15, 2006


The Charlatans, Brixton Academy 8.12.06

The Charlatans are one of the few bands playing these days that started at the beginning of the nineties and are still going strong. They have never been particularly big but have never fallen into the small club scene and reguarly play venues the size of Brixton's Academy. It was a sell out crowd and a Friday night so there was a good atmosphere. Having seen them a few tomes before, you don;t really know what to get. If they do a retrospective hits set then they are very very good, sometimes they concentrate on new stuff (which wrongly includes vocallist Tim Burgess sing a falsetto style). Fortuantely this set leaned strongly towards the former mainly because they are promoting their singles album Forever. The distinct Hammond keyboard was strong in the opening number 'Forever' which was followed by a newish number and I was getting prepared for the worst. Fortuanatley from here on in it was mainly a retrospective starting with 'Cant Get Out Of Bed' 'Weirdo' and 'Telling Stories' this was classic Charlatans. Alas a few new songs followed although the title track of 'Up At The Lake' did sound rather fresh. We did hear a bloke behind some up 'great song but shit album'. Very true which is the problem with their last few albums only having a couple of good numbers on. 'The Only One I Know' was played after the classic 'One To Another' which is where the set no doubt peaked. After a singalong to 'Just When You Were Thinking Things Over' we got a couple more newish songs before the set finished with 'How High'. An encore inevitably followed with Tim Burgess asking how they were going to fill the thirty minutes they had left. The encore was for the hardcore fans with Indian Rope following the fantastic 'Then', two early songs from The Charlatans career. Then sounded fantastic with the hypnotizing keys and breathy vocals that made Tim Burgess being compared to Ian Brown early in his career. After the best track they have done since 1997 'Impossible' they launched into a ten minute version of 'Sproston Green' to end the set, which they have been doing since they started. A good mix of nostalgia and new stuff makes both the fans and the band probably happy and although the new stuff isn't as strong as it should be, besides a few obscure early tracks there was nothing you'd want them to do they didn't.

Set - Forever - Blackened Blue Eyes - Cant Get Out Of Bed - Telling Stories - Weirdo - My Beautiful Friend - Love Is The Key - Up At The Lake - A Man Needs To Be Told - One To Another - The Only One I Know - Try Again Today - North Country Boy - Just When You Were Thinking Things Over - You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty (2006 version) - How High //// New York City - Indian Rope - Then - Impossible - Sproston Green

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Bat For Lashes, Scala 6.12.06

Bat For Lashes debut album 'Fur And Gold' is one of the best albums of the year. A very dark, rhythmic sounding sometines tribal beats reminiscent of Tori Amos and early Heather Nova, so I pounced on the chance to see them live. A fourpiece fronted by Brighton based Jemina Khan (essentially its her band/project) it was a captivating gig. Early in the set she did a cover of Springsteens 'Im On Fire' which was haunting. The song 'Trophy' had percussion that embeds its way into your mind that it will be with you for weeks and the encore with the song 'Sad Eyes' is one of the most depressing but engrossing songs you'll hear.
Not the most energetic gigs Ive seen, she does need a song that suddenly explodes into a cauldron of fire, (ie goes loud when unexpected) it certainaly showed promise of what could be to come.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Milburn - Koko 5.12.06

Have to confess that I had not heard of Milburn when one of my friends suggested them. "Come on, they are mates with the Artic Monkeys" he said. This did not encourage me. However for just over a tenner I htought I'd experiance it as obviously they could be the next big thing since the Artic Monkeys. Missing the supports we enter the venue at 9.15. A boistorous young crowd, some in fact would say yobbish, were in attendence and when the band took the stage with bottles of bud in hand there was a huge roar. The first couple of songs were played at pace, perhaps too fast. The bass played was the vocalist (not normally a good move for the same reason air stewardesses should not fly planes) and looked a cross between Noel Gallager and Paul Scholes with bigger hair. However despite a lot of bar chords, the third song offerred more melody and even a lead guitar. Thnakfully it continued in this vein. There was one howler however in a song called 'the book you are reading is upside down' which was monotus drivel. The last song after 55 minutes though 'Look What You Could Have One' had the instant indie pop charm of anything you have heard recently. An entertaining evening and for someone in my age group I would put them down as a modern day Bluetones or Cast.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The 100th Post

Believe it or not I've written on this blog 100 different times.
Been a very busy week so far mainly with gigs attended. Must be the time of year with Christmas approaching. Did manage to go to the New Inn on Monday for the Man City Watford 0-0 dross. Sky must have had the ugliest panel thouh with Jeff Stelling presenting and Ian Dowie and Shaun 'the goat' Goater as pundits. I do actually like Jeff Stelling however and when I am not at a Saints match on a Saturday I do try to get to a pub to watch him keep the viewing public informed of every sodding goal that is scored at any level!!
Am off ot Southend on Saturday for the Southampton to take in what is for me a new ground. Never been to Roots Hall so should be fun!
Finally I don't know if any of you have been out in the evening in the last few days but it has been fairly clear sky and the moon has been beaming and looking very beautiful. Last night was the full one this month. As pretty as anything or anyone you'll see. All together - 'I go out walking.... in the moonlight....'

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The Zutons, Roundhouse 3.12.06

Initially when I got my ticket for this it was to go to a new venue. The Who got there first however. Still I like the Zutons second album so wasn't too disappointed. Engineering works meant I got the train to Wimbledon and a train to Vauxhall where I got the Victoria Line to Warren Street. Having time on my side, I decided to alight here for a pint and then get a bus. The Court pub on Tottenham Court Road was entered to see the last five minutes of Everton beating West Hamm innit. Two quite attractive barmaids were serving and the pub was fairly full. Just opposite Warren Street tube I went into the Prince Of Wales Feathers which was remarkably empty and as we approached 7.30 last orders was rang. Still had a quiz machine and were showing Real Madrid v Bilbao! A buss was promptly hopped on and I alighted just before Camden Tube. Walking up to the Roundhouse I decided to have one more in the Good Mixer (a legendary Britpop pub). Needs a lick of paint these days but still a good mix (excuse the pun) of people and a good jukebox. I watched a few random people play pool in here and left just before they had a meat raffle!!
After findong out what time The Zutons were on I had time for a couple more. Misty Moons I did after the Who, a bootleg spoons! Here I managed a couple of quid playing Bully. Finally before the gig I had a hald in Londons only classical music pub Bartok. An outragous £1,90 a half of Fosters explained why it was fairly empty but I was treated to a violin / cello duo who were quite pleasant.
Onto the gig & I managed to get to a good position on the right hand side. Here I saw probably the best gig of the last three months or so (certainly since Jimmy Barnes). Opening with 'Why Don't You Give Me Your Love' the set was full of bouncy rocknroll tunes. 'Stacy Look What You Done' was another highlight and the set ended with an elongated 'Valerie' which was really good fun. The sound quality was really good and all of the band seemed to be enjoying it to despite the annoying scouse accents. Don't often see a band with a saxophone played but it was played as a rhythm rather than lead instrument which obviously give the music a glam (Gary Glitter esque sound). The only gripe again, as with all these newish band, was that the set was a liitle short(1 hour 20) although agains they played everything you'd expect. Perhaps a cover could have been put in. Hopefully they can produce another decent album (no new songs were played tonight) and then they could have a huge wealth of tracks to perform form.
I had a day off the concert trail on Monday but Tuesday am seeing Milburn and Wednesday Bat For Lashes who's debut album Fur & Gold is one of the best released this year. A Tori Amoseque folk effort with dark undertones!


Spike & The Quire Boys, Kingston Peel 2.12.06

The day started in the Prince Regent with a few mates watching Spurs disgrace themselves against Arsenal. Although there were two dodgy penanlties I don't think the Spurs got out of their own half. Managed to persuade one of my friends to have a fiver bet that Spurs will finish outside the top eight. On this performance I'm clearly quids in!
Then after watching Middlesborough - Man Utd at a combination of my brothers house, the Prince Of Wales and Clarets in Cheam, my brother & I headed to Kingston. A few decent pubs were done, I do like the Kingston Tup although it is very expensive and we foulnd ourseleves at the Peel. Notorious for being a place for strippers, in recent years they found themselves playing hosts to some up & coming bands as well as some past their sell by date. Billed as a 'Spike' solo show his band were all members of the band he is famous for and after starting with stuff from his new solo album, we soon got into Quire Boys classic terrioty with 'Sweet Mary Ann' 'I Dont Love You Anymore, ' Seven O'Clock' and the show ender 'Sex Party'. All good rocknroll with Spike back on the JD and coke. Fantastic!


Human League, SBE 1.12.06.

No let up on the gig front with the Human League the second of four gigs on the trot.
As always they are very good. The set is basically a best of compilation. True their getting older, but not a note from Mr Oakley is wrong although one of the girls had feedback on her song 'One Man In My Heart'. Favourites for me were 'Mirror Man' 'Heart Like A Wheel' and the always classic 'Together In Electric Dreams' the show closer. They haven't changed much from when I saw them last year and as you'd expect the crowd was age wise all 30-something. Top notch entertainment.
Set - Love Action, Open Your Heart, Mirror Man, Louise, Empire State Human, Heart Like A Wheel, First Man In Space, Seconds, The Lebanon, One Man In My Heart, Human, All I Ever Wanted, Sound Of The Crowd, Fascination, Tell Me When, Dont You Want Me /// Being Boiled, Together In Electric Dreams

Friday, December 01, 2006


Red Sox, Sutton United Boom Boom Club 30.11.06

A late decision on going to this at Suttons own Maddison Square! I didn't actually know about it until I returned to work that day. The World Famous Red Sox are basically the SAS Band without the guests. Spike Edney on keys, Jaime Moses on guitar, Dan Martyr on drums and the legendary Neil Murray on bass. They worked their way through a set of cover version including 'Play That Funky Music', Van Halens 'Jump', 'Summer In The City' and 'Rocky Mountain Way'. The show ended with the SAS Bands own '25 riffs' which is a four minute instrumental made up of classic riffs such as 'Layla' 'Bohemian Rhapsody' & 'Smoke On the Water' amongst 22 others!Very good value too for a tenner.


Saints and Winchester

As I had the day off work Wednesday I left for football early deciding to stop and look round Winchester. A very nice city dominated by the Cathedral. Did three pubs in total including the Royal Oak, which suggests it is Britains oldest pub. The Savannah was next, where the lovely Molly served me. Molly was had blonde hair and a very short skirt & as well as being attrative was also very cheery and friendly as she served you. If it wasn't for Emily at the New Inn then she would have been a candidate for barmaid of the year! Finally I went to the Wetherspoons, The Old Gaolhouse. A typical spoons establishement also had an fit barmaid by the name of Hannah although she was not that friendly!
Onto the 4-3 thriller, and I can confirm I am on a roll! After backing Baird at 40-1 on Saturday, I was sensible with my quid and backed Kenwynne Jones ay 6-1. Sure enough he buried the first of three goals Saints scored in a mad five minute spell. Saints being Saints of course won the hard way by conceeding two in the second half before sub Bradley Wright-Phillips scored with his first touch. Birmingham got a late consolation which resulted in a pretty tasty fight between our goalie, Kelvin Davies and his team mate Chris Baird. Think Davies was winning beofre the players were pulled apart. Obviously the ref didn't see the punches and declined to caution either of them!


The Killers, Brixton Academy 28.11.06

The Killers are currently one of the biggest bands around and I could have easily quadrupled my money on the tickets for this third night at Brixton. Opening up with 'Sams Town' and 'When You Were Young' from their new album they waded through a good mix off that album and their debut. They only lost it when they played their future Christmas single in the encore. Highlights were obviously 'Mr Brightside', 'Glamerous Indie Rocknroll' and the current single 'Bones'. Whereas they lived up to the hype and did everything you wanted I did have a slight gripe that the set was only an hour & 15 minutes. Also, despite the excellent music played, Brendan Flowers (the singer) lacked any sort of stage presence that normally goes hand in hand with being a rock star at the top of their profession. Indeed, at times he appeared just to be going through the motions especially during 'Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine'. The show ended with the audience sing-a-long 'All the things I've Said & Done' which we were still singing as we left the venue. A fantastic band & a good show makesg me look forward to next year when I see them in Brighton.


Casino Royale

Saw the latest Bond film at the beginning of the week. Very good it was too. A little overlong but still entertaining. The opening sequence is shot in Black & White, presumably to get the audience used to Bonds blonde hair! It works very well as an 'origin' story to Britains top spy and a good way to hear the famous five words, the last line in the movie! It will be intersting to see whether they redo any more of Flemings books (the second Bond novel after Casino Royale was Live & Let Die) or whether they go back to original screenplays as per the Brosnan Bond films. As for Daniel Craig, when you get over the hair he is rather very good! Eva Green was hot too, despite being a bit of a wet drip when confronted with violence.
Next film I'll make an effort to go to will be Ghost Rider, based on the Marvel comic starring Nicholas Cage.

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